Jacinda Ardern’s resignation: Failed due to economic policy

Jacinda Ardern’s resignation: Failed due to economic policy

Dhe tearful farewell, but also the sometimes hateful comments about the self-chosen exit from Jacinda Ardern from the office of New Zealand’s prime minister slightly divert attention from their economic record. However, in her second term after 2017 at the latest, this turns out to be much worse than she herself had hoped. After five and a half years at the head of the islands, she leaves a country groaning under high prices and facing recession. Shortly after Ardern’s departure, her confidant, Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson, ruled out being available to succeed him.

Christopher Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia/Pacific based in Singapore.

Just over a month ago, the 42-year-old announced: “In this particularly turbulent economic time, we are concentrating on saving and making sure that the economy is our priority.” The rising costs, the consequences of the harsh Corona policy and that Failure of the real estate policy labor party but weigh heavily on their reputation. In polls, Ardern’s party achieved its lowest approval rating since coming to power. The number of votes would be too few for a coalition after the upcoming elections in autumn. With only 29 percent approval, Ardern also recently performed worse than ever with the New Zealanders.

Campaign promises not fulfilled

The burden of the young prime minister on the overall economic situation of the islands, especially the inflation rate. Because the increase in food prices by a good 8 percent and overall inflation of 7.2 percent hit the approximately five million “Kiwis” at a time when housing is already unaffordable for many. The raising of the key interest rate by the central bank then makes borrowing more difficult.

While these are currently global problems, in New Zealand they stand in particular contrast to the election promises: Ardern had started with the promise to make housing possible for everyone. When she won her first election, she declared that she would have one hundred thousand homes built for the underprivileged under the KiwiBuild initiative. Five years later there are only 1366.

Many companies suffered from the tough lockdown

Ardern’s way out of the crisis then appeared to many New Zealanders as another step in the wrong direction. Because in December she explained that she is now pressing the brake pedal: “Internationally we are seeing a slowdown in the economy and many are forecasting a recession in different parts of the world. So we will focus on cutting spending.” From the point of view of many citizens, this would have meant that a Labor government of all people would let their costs rise exorbitantly on the one hand, and cut services and subsidies on the other. For the first time in years, New Zealand is no longer growing through immigration; many highly qualified people are leaving “the land of the white cloud” to take advantage of opportunities, particularly in Australia.

Farmers, hoteliers and tourism operators on the green islands have not forgiven Ardern for the hard lockdown during Corona. The closure of the islands has kept the death rate very low in comparison. But there were no guests for many months and businesses collapsed. The farms still lack the pickers they need for their harvests. “Saint Jacinda”, as she was often called due to her emotional demeanor, also lost her reputation because she brushed off criticism of her Corona policy for a long time.

Ardern was also not as successful in climate policy as its appearance might have led one to expect: from 2018, emissions increased by 2 percent. The now announced limitation of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture – of New Zealand most important branch of the economy – but then turned the farmers against them again, who feared rising costs.

Source link